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Death and the Smell of Jesus (6) - other ways of responding

DOWNLOAD MP3: Dave Bish - Death and the Smell of Jesus

1. Some mishear and think that the message was “try hard and do good”

That is death to everyone. DIY religion is a joke – as if we could do it ourselves and please God. That’s evil. It’s not Christianity. And I hate it. If that’s what you think you heard, you’ve not caught the scent – sniff again!

2. Others haven’t misheard or been indifferent. You’re incensed by this. You fume at it.

To you this really is like water. Water poured on the hot oil of your heart. You heard every word and you are reviled: You mock at the idea that Jesus fulfilled prophecies. You scorn the prospect of a final judgement. You find the idea of a man dying on a Roman cross to save you ridiculous. And celebrating association with that seems outrageous. And you say, even if it were true, you’d rather try to save yourself. Some disbelieve because, missing the scent, they say he could never save someone as bad as them. That is not most people in Exeter.

We do not live in a city that is broken by a deep awareness of it’s own sinfulness. People are not weeping on the streets. People do not default to presuming that hell is waiting for them. We have a bigger problem – we live in an age where we think we deserve heaven, where it’s our right to have that. We could not be more deceived. Deceived or not: Jesus is our judge.

Please don’t march confidently towards your impending death. However respectable and decent, we all deserve to perish. I almost killed myself crossing the road the other day, because I ignored the warnings of danger… designed to stop me. Starting with the red man shining in my face. Jesus warns us.

Blaise Pascal said: 'Between heaven and hell is only this life, which is the most fragile thing in the world.'

This is serious. Even now, hear Jesus, smell the coffee.

3. Some hear and respond with apathy. You’re unmoved. You don’t see what all the fuss is about. You’re indifferent.

If I introduce you to my wife and you’re indifferent to her I will be offended. Apathy and anger are both rebellion against Jesus.

Others, lastly, would never have called yourself Christians before today and yet you find yourself strangely moved by what you’ve heard about Jesus.

Not because the preacher was eloquent, but because you find yourself inescapably captivated with the big words about Jesus. If you’ve caught something of the sweet fragrance of Jesus and his death. That was my experience 11 years ago. Believe what you’ve heard. Become a Christian. Join the church – a people where life is about Jesus and death is being with him forever.

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